New Recipe: Your Weekend Planner April 2: Covid 2.0 hits Bollywood, Serpent brings back Charles Sobhraj

Dear Reader,

If you pulled off an April-Fool’s prank on someone successfully, well, congratulations. If you did not because no joke can beat what our lives have been since March 2020, we’re with you. Anyway.

It’s April 2, and you’ve got the Easter weekend coming up. Heading out of town for this long weekend comes with its own share of precautions so if you are indeed going out, here’s a list of quick trips. Do not drop the mask. You know the rest of the sanitiser-soap drill by now.

Now to the ones who are staying in. We have an Easter-special carrot cake recipe from the kitchen. There’s a quicker Caramel Coffee recipe too. Our pick from the bookshelf is The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, a story of two siblings and the protagonist: their house.

On OTT, Netflix has a series on serial killer Charles Sobhraj, The Serpent, starring Tahar Rahim in the lead role. If you’re into the whole serial-killer genre, you might like it. There’s also Tenet on Amazon Prime Video if you want to tax your brains a little. More when you reach the section.

Bollywood, meanwhile, seems to be battling the second wave of Covid. As Ranbir Kapoor came out of quarantine after testing negative, girlfriend Alia Bhatt tested positive and went right back into quarantine. Amitabh Bachchan has gotten himself a jab of the vaccine. The Bachchans all accompanied Amitabh to get the vaccine but for Abhishek, who is yet to receive a dose.

Before we leave you with the Weekend Planner, the biggest news from cinema this week: Rajinikanth is being honoured with the 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Or the other way round, as Thalaivar fans would have you believe.

That’s all from us this weekend. Keep the mask on.

Here’s your Weekend Planner.

WHAT’S TRENDING?

We are four months into 2021 but everything seems like a rinse-and-repeat of March 2020. All thanks to, what else, but coronavirus. “Numbers are rising,” is the statement that every other person is uttering because there has been a rapid increase in the daily Covid-19 cases all across the country, especially in Maharashtra.

Apart from Maharashtra, several other states including Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat have imposed a lockdown and night curfew in several areas.

On that note, we repeat, don’t forget the mask. Mumbai Police has been spreading awareness about the importance of face masks time and again, and alerted on April Fool’s Day especially, that not wearing one is a “costly prank.”

Coronavirus apart, there has been enough pandemonium about the Suez Canal crisis that made headlines over the weekend. The Suez Canal was blocked after the 400-metre long vessel Ever Given got jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal last week, halting traffic on the narrowest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

Shipping traffic resumed on Monday after the giant container ship was refloated, and the internet soon after went into overdrive. What followed were memes. Amul also celebrated the feat with a cute doodle.

Now, move on to the next section for something to make you smile.

SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU SMILE

US Navy members sang AR Rahman’s popular track Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera from Shah Rukh Khan’s 2004 film Swades at an event earlier this week and the video went viral on social media. And guess what? SRK watched the clip and was elated.

A video of an Iranian woman dancing to the song Jab Tak Hai Jaan from the 1975 film Sholay also went crazy viral on social media.

DON’T FORGET TO WORK OUT

Malaika Arora started her week by doing the Gomukhasana or the Cow Face Pose. She shared a picture of herself nailing the yoga asana in a printed workout bra and tights. She also shared the benefits of the pose and the steps to do it correctly.

Apart from that, Malaika also talked about how ‘strong is the new healthy’ with a picture that showed her working out. She was seen balancing herself on a stability ball.

LET’S TRAVEL

Long weekend? How about a road trip?

As we enter the fourth month of 2021, there’s a reason for you to rejoice. This week ends with a long weekend, which means it is the perfect time to pack your bags and escape the city life for a short trip to places nearby your city without much planning. So, we rounded up a list of four places that you can visit without planning too much to just relax while keeping in mind all the Covid-19 health guidelines.

FROM THE BOOKSHELF

Our pick from the bookshelf today is The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, a stunning portrait of two siblings, Danny and Maeve Conroy, through years, decades, life itself, and how the places they inhabit shape them as humans. The Dutch House tops this list of places. Their mansion derives the name from the Dutch owners their father, Cyril Conroy, bought it from. This iconic house in a Philadelphia suburb exerts an almost magical pull on all the inhabitants of the house – helping some of them grow; breaking some others completely. Relationships and people are all woven around this Dutch House and in the end, Patchett gifts you a read that’s both enriching and fun. And just the perfect weekend read.

ON YOUR PLATTER

If you want to celebrate the essence of Easter at home, we have the perfect recipe for you. Carrot cakes are a traditional Easter recipe, they are easy to make and assemble, and are always a hit at any gathering. Top it up with tangy cream-cheese frosting and your Sunday is simply glorious.

Care for some carrot cake?

To prepare a carrot cake, mix flour, sugar, cornstarch and baking soda in the mixer. After blending it a little, pour oil or butter, eggs and vanilla into it. Blend again and then evenly mix in shredded carrots, coconut and chopped nuts. You can also use electric beaters.

Your cake mixture is ready. Make sure there are no lumps. Pour it into the cake tin and bake for an hour. You can check if your cake is ready or not by using a skewer or toothpick.

Now comes the interesting part – topping. Mix cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence evenly. Spread over the top of your cake. You can also use food colouring to make it look beautiful. Get creative and cut carrots into different shapes to decorate your cake.

After you have celebrated Easter, you can finish off the delicious cake with a cup of piping hot Caramel Coffee. This week a man from Old Delhi went viral for selling Butter Coffee. The Internet had a lot to say about this drink. In case, this story made you crave a cup of coffee you can use our recipe.

The recipe for Caramel Coffee is quite easy. You will 1/2 cup milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon caramel topping, 1 tablespoon caramel sauce, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and coffee mixed in a cup of water. Combine milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until it becomes frothy and is close to simmering. Reduce heat to low; whisk in caramel sauce and vanilla extract. Mix in the coffee. Enjoy!

FASHIONABLY YOURS

Kareena Kapoor can pull off absolutely any outfit, but she has a thing for the thigh slit. Earlier this week, Kareena was spotted in Mumbai’s Bandra, pretty in a striped midi-dress, featuring side slits. Most of her dresses, in fact, feature thigh slits as Kareena just cannot get enough of them. In our Fashion Friday section this week, we list the best of Kareena’s thigh slit outfit collection. Do take notes.

MOVIES AND MAGIC

The biggest news of the week came on Thursday, April 1, when Thalaivar Rajinikanth was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Wishes poured in for the Superstar and everyone once again hailed the Kaala actor for his contribution to Indian cinema. The Thalaivar soon thanked the government, PM Narendra Modi and everyone who was part of his journey for the honour.

On the very same day, news of Kirron Kher’s blood cancer diagnosis also took over the web. She is undergoing treatment, confirmed Anupam Kher, and is on a road to recovery. We wish her well.

A day before that, Anushka Sharma resumed work, cutting her pregnancy break short. She was shooting for an ad. But soon after, a clip from one of her old interviews, an episode of Simi Selects India’s Most Desirable, started going viral. In the clip, Anushka says she doesn’t want to work post marriage. Aren’t we glad she changed her mind, though?

Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar is zapping through Ram Setu shoot. Akshay, Nushratt Bharuchha and Jacqueline Fernandez began filming earlier this week, and Akki has shared his first look as well as turned photographer for Nushratt. Talk about keeping yourself busy.

And then there was news of Alia Bhatt testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Are you curious just how many celebs tested positive in the second wave? We tell you here.

Now, the usual. On Monday Masala, we listed some iconic Holi songs because, Holi thi, bhai. Tuesday Trivia was about how Tiger Shroff shot for the Baaghi 2 helicopter shot without a body double. On Wahiyat Wednesday, we discussed Abhishek Bachchan’s Game, and how the audience was the biggest loser at the end. And Throwback Thursday, we listed 10 Indian television moments that were truly bizarre.

Before we move to the next section, here’s a list of films that released in theatres today, Friday, April 2. Tread with caution, though, for the pandemic is far from over:

Koi Jaane Na (Hindi), starring Kunal Kapoor, Amyra Dastur, and a special song by Aamir Khan and Elli AvrRam.

Flight (Hindi), starring Mohit Chadda, Pavan Raj Malhotra.

The Mauritanian (English), starring Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Benedict Cumberbatch, and others.

Wild Dog (Telugu), starring Nagarjuna.

Sulthan (Tamil), starring Karthi, Rashmika Mandanna.

Now, off to our OTT section.

INTO THE WORLD OF OTT

ON NETFLIX

What to watch: The Serpent

You will like it if you liked: Main Aur Charles

The Serpent is an eight-episode crime drama series based on the crimes of serial killer Charles Sobhraj. It features Tahar Rahim in the lead role. Set in the 70s, the series tells the tale of how Sobhraj preyed on tourists and killed them mercilessly. The web series also shows how international authorities’ attempted to nab him at various points. Directed by Tom Shankland, The Serpent premiered on Netflix on April 2. But before that, read about the real Charles Sobhraj here.

What to watch: Irul

You will like it if you liked: Don’t Breathe

After C U Soon, Fahadh Faasil is back with another OTT release during the Covid-19 pandemic. Directed by Naseef Yusuf Izuddin, Irul premieres on Netflix on April 2. Irul features just three characters played by Fahad Faasil, Soubin Shahir and Darshana Rajendran. The synopsis of the film reads, “A dark rainy night, an empty house, a stranded couple and an unknown man. A sleek game of the cat and the mouse starts playing on, as the three of them find a dead body in the basement. The movie takes the shape of an old-fashioned whodunit — the kind with mystery, suspense and a house that feels like a mousetrap. Leaving us questioning, who is the killer?” Read our review here.

What to watch: Haunted: Latin America (Haunted: Latinoamérica)

You will like it if you liked: Haunted

Real people, real stories, real terror. Haunted: Latin America is a docuseries where people talk about their terrifying experiences. Be it demonic possessions, ghost sightings, or eerie incidents, each episode has a story to tell. It began streaming on March 31.

What to watch: Madame Claude

You will like it if you liked: The Irishman

Story of the brothel-keeper Fernande Grudet aka Madame Claude, the French film is based on true events. Madame Claude heads a prostitution business and has connections in the political as well as criminal world. How she uses these connections forms the story. The film stars Françoise Fabian in the titular role and is directed by Just Jaeckin. It released on April 1.

What to watch: Concrete Cowboy

You will like it if you have watched: City of Men

Boasting a stellar cast, which includes Idris Elba, Caleb McLaughlin, Jharrel Jerome and Byron Bowers, Concrete Cowboy revolves around the life of a troubled teenager and his estranged father. It started streaming today.

ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

What to watch: Manifest S3

You will like it if you have watched: Manifest

This supernatural drama series is about the passengers of Flight 828. They board the flight, which disappears, and they are assumed to be dead. However, the flight makes a sudden reappearance and the passengers realise the world has aged five years during their journey. It started streaming on April 1.

ON VOOT SELECT

What to watch: Sumer Singh Case Files: Girlfriends

You will like it if you liked: Kaushiki

Starring Rannvijay Singha in the lead role, Sumer Singh Case Files: Girlfriends began streaming on Voot Select from March 31. It’s a spin-off series of Kaushiki, which starred Sayani Gupta, Omkar Kapoor, Namit Das and Rannvijay. The series revolves around a diligent police officer, ACP Sumer Singh who moves to Delhi with his sights set on finding and delivering justice. However, things go haywire when his leap into romance takes a deadly wrong turn and he finds himself entangled in the lives of four friends, who are all hiding dirty secrets.

ON MX PLAYER

What to watch: Spotlight

You will like it if you have watched: Indian Idol

Spotlight is a talent reality show that aims to find India’s emerging rappers. In the show, eight rappers are selected from across the country. The rappers compete in a six-part series to become India’s Next Rap Superstar. It started streaming today.

ALSO WATCH:

TENET on AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is finally on an OTT platform. The film started streaming on Amazon Prime Video on March 31. Before that, read our review here.

ON YOUR TELEVISION SCREENS

What to watch: Indian Idol 12

Where to watch: Sony TV, 9.30 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Legendary actress Rekha will be a special guest on Indian Idol 12 this weekend. She will be seen having a gala time on the show with the contestants and judges Vishal Dadlani, Neha Kakkar and Himesh Reshammiya. Rekha will also be seen dancing on the show.

What to watch: Dance Deewane 3

Where to watch: Colors TV, 9 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

The reality dance show has contestants from three generations. The contestants will be performing some dance stunts this weekend in the Dosti special episode. They will also be divided into two teams. Bharti Singh and Haarsh Limbachiyaa will be seen on the stage. Dance Deewane 3 is hosted by Raghav Juyal. The judges are Madhuri Dixit, Dharmesh Yelande, and Tushar Kalia.

What to watch: Super Dancer Chapter 4

Where to watch: Sony TV, 8 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

The dance reality show Super Dancer Chapter 4 that celebrates Nachpan Ka Tyohaar premiered last weekend. The judges of the show, Shilpa Shetty, Geeta Kapur and Anurag Basu will be seen getting impressed by the performances of the young dancers. Anurag will also be seen having fun with a crew member on the show this weekend as he calls him ‘kattappa.’

ALSO WATCH:

Vanguard on And Pictures, 8 pm (Friday, April 2)

Jackie Chan’s new film Vanguard will air on And Pictures this Friday. The Chinese action-adventure film, written and directed by Stanley Tong, was released on September 30, 2020, in China.

(Compiled by Ananya Bhattacharya, Nairita Mukherjee, Raya Ghosh, Krishna Priya Pallavi, Vibha Maru, Jyoti Kanyal, Janani K, Divyanshi Sharma, Shweta Keshri, Logesh Balachandran, Grace Cyril, Rishita Roy Chowdhury, Tiasa Bhowal)

ALSO READ | After Alia Bhatt tests Covid positive, Gangubai Kathiawadi shoot put on hold

ALSO READ | Irul Movie Review: Fahadh Faasil’s solid performance let down by complicated story

ALSO READ | Can Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, John Abraham defeat Thanos-like Corona at the box office?




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